Suffredin- For a Better Cook County  
 

Accountability
Forest Preserves
Public Safety
Cook County Budget
Forest Pres. Budget
Property Tax Appeal
Health & Hospitals
Land Bank Authority
Policy Resolutions
Unsung Heroine

 

   
 
   
   
 
   
     
  Office phone numbers:  
   
 
 

The Cook County Code of Ordinances are the current laws of Cook County.

   
 

Search current and proposed Cook County Legislation in Larry's exclusive legislative library.

   
  The Cook County Law Library is the second largest County law library in the nation.
   
     
     
     



'I'm a little amped up about this': Cook health board members riled by Preckwinkle's control moves
Changing how the county Health & Hospital System is run could compromise the system's independence and its mission to provide care to all, board members suggest.

Thursday, January 30, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business
by A.D. Quig

Members of the Cook County Health & Hospital System board expressed confusion and unease about whether any of President Toni Preckwinkle's proposed changes in the balance of power between health officials and her administration would fix the issues Preckwinkle says need fixing.

"I'm a little amped up about this," said the health board's finance chairman, Bob Reiter, the president of the Chicago Federation of Labor and a Preckwinkle ally. He said he has "a huge problem" with the section of the ordinance that gives Preckwinkle the power to directly appoint one member to what would be a 12-member board, as well as the chair. "It asserts more control over what was always described as the independent board by the folks downtown."

EARLIER

Preckwinkle looks to claw back some oversight of Cook County Health

Proposed health oversight shift not a ‘power grab,’ Cook County officials say

In addition to board appointment, Preckwinkle proposes that the next CEO would be appointed on the "advice and consent of the County Board" and with collaboration from officials downtown. That future CEO's "salary, termination, term, severance and any contract bonus provisions" would also be subject to review and approval from the board.

The county health board's independence has always been limited; the Cook County Board ultimately approves the health system's budget. Preckwinkle makes all of the health board's appointments, with approval from county commissioners. Her administration negotiates nearly all labor agreements with the hospital's unions and guides purchasing decisions. But board members said the changes would make the board even less independent. In the long run, under a different board president or set of county commissioners, that lack of independence might compromise the system's mission to provide care to all, regardless of ability to pay, board members suggested.

While Preckwinkle "cares about public health and providing care to those who don't have access," a future president might not, Reiter said. The "way we're structured now is what good government looks like."

"I don't see this as a particular sign of bad faith, but I'm very struck by the discrepancy between" County Board concerns with finances and communication and "their approach to solve it," health board member Michael Koetting said, expressing bafflement at some of the proposal's components and adding that cooperation through legislation "never works."

Another health board member, Sidney Thomas, said he had great concerns about moving more human resource operations to the county board. The health system exited federal oversight to eliminate political influence in its hiring practices—known as Shakman decree—in 2018. Thomas said he didn't want to "go back to the way things used to be."

Koetting agreed. "The further HR management gets from the transaction that is the core of the business, the more goofed up it gets."

Hill Hammock, the board's chairman, said the proposed ordinance does nothing to address the elephant in the room: the rising cost of charity care.

"The county is going to, I believe, need to increase its subsidy of us, and it is not realistic to think that by more efficient operation of this system, we are going to become self-sustaining," Hammock said. "I've never had that opinion. We're going to continue and need to have more dependence on the county and more financial dependence on the county. I don't think any of the steps here have anything to say about it, other than we're going to talk more."

Cook County Health & Hospital System has an operating budget of about $2.8 billion and expects to spend roughly $590 million on charity care for fiscal 2020. The health system makes up about half of Cook County's $6.2 billion 2020 budget



Recent Headlines

Artist Builds Effigy Mounds to Honor Indigenous People in Cook County
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
WTTW News

Cook County on pace for more than 900 homicides in 2020: medical examiner
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Skokie seeks federal reimbursement for coronavirus-related expenses
Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Racial Equity Week
Monday, September 14, 2020
WTTW News

When Cook County inmates await trial for years, true justice is thwarted
Monday, September 14, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois records 1,462 new COVID-19 cases, 14 additional deaths
Sunday, September 13, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Illinois tallies 2,121 more coronavirus cases, but testing positivity rate drops
Saturday, September 12, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Cook County health department announces plans to spend up to $5.4M fighting COVID-19 in most-affected areas
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

The first COVID-19 patients in Illinois faced stigma, bigotry. But experts say their contributions to science taught the US much about the virus.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Suburban Chicago mom of strangled teen: Why, after 10 years, has suspect still not gone to trial?
Friday, September 11, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Why hospitals don't treat everyone equally
Friday, September 11, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

1,953 New COVID-19 Cases in Illinois, 28 Additional Deaths
Thursday, September 10, 2020
WTTW News

Gov. Pritzker Announces $16 Million Investment to Connect Out of Work Illinoisans with 1,300 COVID-19 Response Jobs
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

Dipping COVID-19 numbers put Illinois in ‘decent position,’ but Pritzker urges staying the course: ‘We can’t outrun this virus’
Thursday, September 10, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

President Preckwinkle Announces Event Details for Second Annual Racial Equity Week, September 14 – 18, 2020
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Crusader

Activists call for alternative Cook County ‘Budget for Black Lives’
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

More dips in summer COVID-19 roller coaster: State’s daily caseload and positive test rates down after week of climbs
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Sun-Times

Activists, nurses union demand $157 million cut from Cook County sheriff’s office budget next year: ‘Black life is a priority’
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Chicago Tribune

Pappas: Check your mortgage account if you refinanced this year. My office returned a record $51.2 million in property tax overpayments
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Special to suffredin.org

UI Hospital seeks to block some nurses from striking
Wednesday, September 09, 2020
Crain's Chicago Business

all news items

Paid for by Larry Suffredin and not at taxpayer expense. A Haymarket Production.
^ TOP